In this tense thriller, Christian Gillette, hero of The Proteacute;geacute;, is approached by a shadowy group representing vast wealth (but vague motives). It's a politically conservative alliance interested in a partnership with Gillette's company, Everest Capital. Then he is contacted by a charismatic liberal politician named Jesse Wood, who is about to announce his candidacy for President; Wood and his advisors want Gillette to run for vice President. Skeptical of both offers, Gillette tries to discern who can be trusted. But he soon realizes a colleague has ties to one party... and ultimately, he can't trust anybody at all.
Murder, global conspiracy, treason, blackmail, sexual infidelity and perversity propel bestseller Frey's entertaining, if highly implausible, third financial thriller starring Christian Gillette (after 2005's The Protogo). Christian, the CEO of Everest Capital, a hugely successful Manhattan-based investment firm, faces a host of adversaries, chief among them the Order, a secret society made up of nine white American businessmen and government leaders whose predecessors have been manipulating financial and historical events since the society's inception in 1839. Led by Jackson Prescott Hewitt, chairman of U.S. Oil, the Order fears that America is falling under the control of minorities whose agendas include statehood for Puerto Rico and Mexico and the election of the nation's first African-American president. Christian comes to the attention of this cabal and, aided by series regulars Allison Wallace and Quentin Stiles, is soon fighting for his very life. The action roars along like a small tsunami, sweeping logic aside and carrying aloft those readers willing to suspend a substantial amount of disbelief. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 25, 2006
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Excerpt from The Power Broker by Stephen Frey
Christian Gillette sat on the balcony of his suite at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, watching first light scale the craggy peaks in the distance. In a few hours tourists would be mobbing the casino on the ground floor. He hoped soon it would be his casino they'd be mobbing.
Christian ran Everest Capital, a Manhattan-based investment firm that owned thirty companies in a wide range of industries'smokestack to high-tech. The companies were all large, at least a billion in sales, and Christian chaired eighteen of them. He also chaired Central States Telecom and Satellite, a communications company in Chicago that Everest had taken public six months ago--after owning for three years. Everest had made four hundred million on the CST initial public offering--Christian had gotten twenty of that. Forty years old, he'd already made fifty times more than most people did in a lifetime, but it hadn't gone to his head. Money was just money, and success could be fleeting.
He dialed Nigel Faraday's cell number. Nigel was one of Everest's five managing partners. There were sixty-four people at the firm, but, other than his assistant, Debbie, the five partners were Christian's only direct reports. Beneath the partners was a burgeoning pyramid of managing directors, vice presidents, and associates, but he rarely dealt with them. Five years ago, he'd known everyone at Everest by name. He missed those days.
Nigel answered on the third ring. "Well, well, you gambling, Chris?" Nigel had lived in the United States for almost twenty years, but his British accent remained heavy. "Sitting in front of some one-armed bandit with your bucket of quarters?" He laughed. "Ah, the slot machine. Another wonderful contribution to mankind from you Americans. Right up there with rap music and the Big Mac."
Playing the slots actually sounded like fun to Christian, if only for its pure simplicity, but there wasn't time. It seemed like there never was anymore for things like that. "Hey, I don't mind rap once in a while, and I don't know why you, of all people, would bash the Big Mac. You've eaten your share."
"Hey, chap, what I eat is my business."
"Relax, chap, I'm just kidding." Christian heard traffic in the background at the other end of the line?horns blaring, engines revving, tires skidding. "Where are you?"
"Walking down Park. Bit of a late start to the office this morning, I'm afraid."
Nigel was huffing as he strode toward Everest's Park Avenue headquarters. The Brit was thirty pounds overweight thanks to a steady diet of rocky road ice cream and those Big Macs. "Up late last night?" Christian asked. Nigel was fresh into a new relationship with a pretty brunette he?d met a few weeks ago. They were in the infatuation stage, calling each other five times a day and staying out late every night. "I don't want that woman distracting you, no matter how wonderful she is."
"No, no, I'm glad you"re finally enjoying yourself," Christian broke in. Nigel had put in a lot of long days the last few years, taking care of administrative details so Christian could focus on the big picture. Nigel had been Mr. Inside so Christian could be Mr. Outside, and the formula worked. Both Forbes and Fortune had tabbed Everest Capital as one of the top investment firms. "Now, any updates?"